I note that the Legislative Council Select Committee on TasWater Ownership has handed down its final report.
The report does not make any recommendations, rather it lists a number of the key arguments for and against the Government’s TasWater takeover proposal as findings.
However the Government disagrees with the findings that suggest councils will be adversely affected by the proposed takeover.
The fact is councils will get every cent currently promised to them until 2025 and after that 50 per cent of all returns. Under the current arrangement councils have no guarantee of any returns beyond 2025.
At the end of the day, the infrastructure shouldn’t be seen as a council asset or even a State Government asset. These assets belong to the people of Tasmania and given both the Economic Regulator and the Auditor-General have confirmed the infrastructure is falling apart faster than it can be fixed something has to be done.
The status quo clearly isn’t good enough.
Our proposal would see councils continue to receive guaranteed dividends, it would see more money invested in infrastructure upgrades sooner and it would see customers paying as much as $550 less than is currently expected over coming years.
We have consulted widely on our proposal and it has enormous community support including from:
• The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
• The Housing Industry Association
• The Tasmanian Hospitality Association
• The Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania
• The Property Council
• The Tasmanian Small Business Council
• The Master Builders Association
We look forward to the Council debating the legislation next week.
Peter Gutwein, Treasurer